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"Extend," But Not Too Much

There was a time when I first got super into Olympic lifting that I excessively fixated on the “triple extension” of the lift. I thought this was by far the most important part of the lift. Plus, I thought it was the coolest part of the lift as well.

There is something I think that is important to note about this extension of the lift. As you see in the picture here the hips and knees are about as fully extended as they can be during the lift. What is important is that in this moment there is virtually no force continuing to be applied into the floor. This position is the result of the lifter’s peak force/velocity, which occurs right before this position, and not the cause of peak force/velocity.

When lifters fixate too much on trying to find this extremely extended position what you might find is that they are trying to push into the ground too long and/or are delaying getting under the bar. Usually as a result of trying to extend for too long.

You might find that extremely successful lifters might not ever reach full knee extension. This is because they have figured out how to produce maximum or “enough” velocity on the bar while simultaneously accelerating themselves under the bar.

Weightlifting isn’t just a sport about velocity, but change of direction as well. Due to this, it is important to get a crucial understanding and experience of the physics of the lift. If your body is continuing to move vertical while peak velocity has already been achieved on the bar, you might be losing a few kilos on your lifts.

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